A cheap and easy to use diagnostic test helps determine the success of chemotherapy in patients enduring Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL).
Researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR; Brisbane, Australia), the University of Melbourne (Australia), and other institutions prospectively measured serum CD163 (sCD163) and the Hodgkin-Reed-Sternberg (HRS)-specific serum protein sTARC in 221 samples taken from 47 patients with HL, and 21 healthy participants. Blood was drawn at five fixed time-points prior, during, and after first-line therapy. The results were compared with radiological assessment and plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA (EBV-DNA). The researchers also examined potential sources of circulating CD163, as well as immunosuppressive properties of CD163.
The results showed that prior to therapy, both sCD163 and sTARC were markedly elevated compared with healthy and complete remission samples; sCD163 better reflected tumor burden during therapy, and sTARC presenting greater value upon completion of therapy. Additionally, sCD163 correlated with plasma EBV-DNA, and was associated with B symptoms, stage, and lymphopenia. The researchers found that the combination of both proteins was more informative as a disease response biomarker than either marker alone, in early and advanced disease during first-line therapy for classical HL. The study was published in the February 2013 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
“This has the potential to be a huge aid for doctors in their decision making and a faster and less invasive process for the patients. Up until now, clinicians have relied on scans to help them judge how well people are responding to chemotherapy,” said lead author Professor Maher Gandhi, PhD, of the QIMR Clinical Immunohaematology Laboratory. “This discovery means we can work towards using simple blood tests to provide quicker, cheaper, and more regular monitoring of how a person is responding to treatment.”
Response biomarkers for classical HL might arise from Hodgkin-Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells or nonmalignant tumor-infiltrating cells. While HRS cells are sparse within the diseased node, benign CD163(+) M2 tissue-associated macrophages (TAM) are prominent. It is known that CD163(+) cells within the malignant node may be prognostic, but until now there has been no data on serum CD163.
Queensland Institute of Medical Research
University of Melbourne